—May 5, 2020
Do you have world conqueror genes coursing through your blood? Let’s consider the possibility:
- Alexander the Great?—While his only legitimate child died at age 13, it is possible that he sired some illegitimate children during his extensive travels.
- Julius Caesar?—Same, with no known legitimate children, but perhaps some seed spreading while on any number of expeditions.
- Napoleon Bonaparte—while his one legitimate child—Napoleon II—died childless (Napoleon III being a cousin), Bonaparte did have at least two acknowledged illegitimate sons, both of whom have a few living descendants. Thus, there is a slight chance that you could be a direct descendant from one of these Bonaparte trysts.
Look East for Your Possible World Conquering Ancestor?
That all said, Napoleon’s blood line, as well as that of just about all other historically significant figures, has got nothing on Genghis Kahn. In fact, about one out of every 200 men alive today are descended from the Great Khan—that is, about 19.5 million men around the world (though most live in Mongolia and surrounding countries).
With six Mongolian wives and more than 500 concubines, the Mongol terror was a baby making machine. Researchers have identified a Y-chromosome sequence believed to be from the Great Khan that is present in 8% of men in 16 population groups spanning Asia. If you’re not from Asia, there’s still hope, though, as the sequence is found in about 0.5% of men in the rest of the word. And your odds of having that world-conquering blood may be enhanced should you have red hair and green eyes, as a Persian chronicler described Super G with those distinctive characteristics, which were present among the ethnically diverse Mongols of that time.
What Was Your Potential Ancestor Like?
Born around 1162, young G had a rough childhood that included the murder of his father, his family’s exile from his tribe, and a stint as a slave for a rival tribe. But by his early 20s, he had established himself as a strong warrior and leader, and by 1206 had confederated the Mongol steppe tribes under his leadership. He quickly set about meeting the neighbors, and, up until his death in 1227 introduced himself to people from as far east as Korea to as far west as Kiev Russia (his son, Kublai, would subsequently say hello to Europeans proper).
Not that anyone in his path wanted to say hello to the Great Khan and his horde, as historians believe his world tour may have been responsible for the deaths of up to 40 million people, or more than 10 percent of the world’s population at the time (guess he needed to make room for his offspring). But Super G wasn’t all badness. Those who did not resist and gave freely of their possessions generally kept their lives. An early proponent of religious tolerance, he passed religious freedom laws and tax exemptions for places of worship. He brought order, stability, and free trade to the silk road, and developed an extensive postal system, an early form of the Pony Express.
Of course, any interest you might have in being a Genghis Kahn descendent is likely stoked more by his world conquering creds than that of perhaps being the world’s first Postmaster General.